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The iconic 60s comic strip that never was...until now!
The iconic 60s comic strip that never was...until now!
385 backers pledged £14,732 to help bring this project to life.

To all dedicated followers of fashion, and those who wonder where the hell their stuff is…

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Hello Tigers

As of writing this, (9.30am GMT, May 27, 2016), all but a handful of packages have been mailed out, or are aboard the Goldmobile and about to be mailed out in the next couple of days, (less than10 remain at Goldtiger HQ).

The remaining “big ticket” items and top tier rewards will go out early next week.

We thank you all for your incredible patience, support and for sticking with us on this (at times) difficult journey. You are all Golden.

A few things we need to point out, firstly, we have decided that it is not feasible at this stage to fulfil the I-pad skin part of the rewards owing. We are sorry about this, and apologise profusely, but when we factored in the delay, difficulty in sourcing quality skins, the large increase in production costs (and the small matter of many folks requesting skins for I-pads that we didn’t actually offer in the first place), it simply became hellishly difficult and prohibitively expensive.

We will of course refund the money paid for that portion of relevant rewards, we just ask you to bear with us as we sort it. We’ll be chasing postal claims and compensation for the few packages that arrived damaged or empty, this will take a while. Our funds are limited, so it will be a few weeks before we allocate money to do this. The campaign has been considerably more expensive than first imagined, many of our budgets and estimates have gone sailing out of the window. This is not an excuse, but a statement of fact. A word to wise for anyone thinking of running their own Kickstarter, plan your budget, then double it! For example, our postal budget was originally in the hundreds of pounds, it has actually run into the thousands.

Secondly, our glorious bags arrived, different to the ones we originally planned for, but much nicer, and much more expensive (hey, you’re worth it). When you get them, you’ll notice in the small print, something that looks like a typo. We were shocked and dismayed, and immediately chastised the Goldtiger Super Computer for this glaring error (when in doubt blame the staff, or if your staff has left for a career in exotic dancing, blame the hardware), it immediately went into a sulk and blew up the toaster, incinerating the deep fat fryer into the bargain (I think Adams looks more studious and intelligent without eyebrows, less like a pantomime villain or a rough from the Penny-Dreadful’s, he begs to differ). Turns out it was nothing to do with the computer, it was Barreti! The mean old Italian bastard has struck again! Him and his white printing ink! Adams explains it thusly:

“Barreti never did like the letter N of course, it reminded him of Naples where he once spent the worst childhood holiday of his life. The fact his name contained two of them was a constant source of irritation and explains, in part, why he only ever signed his artwork with his surname. “

It also explains why the letter N is missing from the bags. If it turns up, we’ll let you know!

We’ll continue to keep you posted as we bring this show to a close.

Stay Golden.

peace, love and underthings

J

The glittering prize(s)…

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Hello Tigers…

As I write this (adorned in crushed velvet slacks, with matching scarf), 335 of the 385 rewards have been fulfilled and shipped. We realise some have arrived damaged, and/or incomplete, we are addressing this, and will advise on progress ASAP.

The last 50 that remain to be shipped are delayed due to some technical difficulties beyond our control. The main one being our glorious messenger bags which arrived in decidedly none glorious fashion, they were poor quality and did not reflect the high standards of the Goldtiger fashion house. Honestly, you couldn’t have strutted down Small Heath Birmingham with one, let alone Carnaby Street London (and trust us, Small Heath is not your go to destination for sartorial splendour).

So, said bags were returned with a stern missive, and we have now sourced a new supplier, more suited to the high standards we have all become accustomed to. The new bags are considerably more swanky (and considerably more expensive, but you Golden lovelies are worth it). We have just approved the proof, so we await printing and despatch, this will take another couple of weeks, apologies, but after all this time, we don’t want to cut corners at the last minute.

A few other stray rewards are en route, so once all is in, it’ll be out (the door). We can then turn off the Goldtiger supercomputer, and let it have a well earned rest (it’ll take a month or two to return to room temperature, same goes for us, to be honest).

Stay Golden….

peace, love and underthings.

J and G

Damaged packages, missing contents and format changes

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Hello Tigers

We are sorry to discover that a very small number of packages have been arriving damaged or with contents missing.

This is obviously completely out of our control, but we apologise anyway, because we are nice like that, and we realise how disappointing and frustrating it is, to us as well, please be assured of that.

Steps will be taken to address this, and we will be going through the proper channels to lodge official complaints and put in claims with the relevant postal services/authorities. We are confident that the packaging we have used is adequate (backed up by the fact that 99% of packages have arrived intact and in good condition). There is clearly some mishandling at work, so the fault lies directly with the postal services, we’ll be getting medieval on their asses, be sure of that! Please be advised however, that there is a process we have to follow, and this will take time.

If you have received your rewards in an unsatisfactory condition, please message us directly here and we will get in touch explaining what we’ll need from you to move this forward.

At this time, we have neither the resources or the stock to send out replacements. Unfortunately those affected will have to wait for the claim/complaint process to run its course before we can look at how we resolve this, again our apologies.

Another issue has been brought to our attention regarding the book itself. It seems a small number of you have missed some updates and posts regarding the change to the Exclusive edition of the book, so, to clarify and hopefully set the record straight, please note the following:

For reasons already expanded at length here (we ask you check previous updates for full info) it has not been possible to produce a hard back version of the book as originally planned. We realise this is a disappointment (it is to us as well), but it was unavoidable. In order to make up for this format change, several enhancements have been included, they are as follows:

The book itself has been expanded, with an extra chapter containing new art and additional  material, none of this was originally to be included.

The book is now signed and numbered, with an exclusive bookplate (with art available nowhere else).

A limited, exclusive, full colour print, signed and numbered, exclusive to Kickstarter backers, and available nowhere else.

An original ink drawing by Barreti of one of the characters from the strip.

Barreti also designed the controversial cover for the Kickstarter exclusive edition, a full update was posted detailing that, if you missed it, where were you??!!

We think all this is pretty darn FAB, and none of this would have been included with the hardcover, so we reckon it’s quite an upgrade, but hey, you are Golden, and you deserve it.

Peace love and underthings

J and G

How do you judge a book?

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Hello Tigers

As some of you know, books are flying out of Goldtiger HQ like TV sets out of hotel room windows with Keith Moon in residence.

We are staging the mail outs, so book only pledges are going out first, with enhanced rewards to follow, we apologise that some of you have to wait a little longer than others, but we have to start somewhere, and logistically it makes sense for us to do the bulk mailings first, we hope you understand and can bear with us a little longer.

A full update of postal progress will follow, so we'll let you know when you can start worrying and cursing us and the like.

Now then, a few comments are filtering trough about the cover to the Kickstarter exclusive edition (which is signed, numbered, has an exclusive book plate, and is accompanied by a limited edition print plus an original drawing by Barreti, none of which were promised, but we wanted to say thank you as we have made you all wait so long, and you are all golden).

We asked Barreti to design the cover, something to compliment and contrast the standard Rebellion mass market edition, he obliged, and true to form he came back with something rather unexpected, which is to be expected with him, if you follow. So, just as Richard Hamilton produced the antithesis of Peter Blake's seminal Sgt Pepper sleeve, Barreti has given us a remarkable gift, a genuine pop art artefact, each one unique, yet at the same time seemingly identical. Is it a wry commentary on his own "invisibility" in the industry? A joke at our expense? A scathing satire of the art establishment?

Barreti's controversial cover
Barreti's controversial cover

"Rauschenberg, what a pr*ck, I wouldn't let him paint my f$cking bathroom, let alone produce a canvas", Barretti replied when we compared his cover design to the artists' most famous work.

Like all art, some will not like what he has done, Barreti always creates controversy, where ever he goes, and with what ever he does. You, dear backers, will be the judge, we consider this just another strange and remarkable turn of events in the history of Goldtiger. You will hold in your hands a book that cannot be judged by its cover, by a creator who defies all expectations, other than the expectation that we know our expectations will be defied.

We urge you to ponder that conundrum, and also, be nicer to otters.

Stay golden

J

The long and winding road

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Hello Tigers

This will be the final update for Goldtiger.

This project was launched three years ago, so much has happened since then it sometimes seems like three decades, but we got there, more or less intact, (physically at least, the jury is still out on our sanity). We can only hope that the finished article is worth the wait and a just reward for your incredible patience and support.

As many of you will know, the mass market edition of the book is already in the shops, and is (we are delighted to report) garnering rave reviews, our publisher Rebellion have done a fantastic job, they stepped in and rescued us when our original printer went bust, without them, the book in its current form would not exist. We had hoped to release the Kickstarter exclusive edition first, it was always planned that way, and was part of the publishing deal we have with Rebellion. Alas, as so often has been the case on this long journey, things went “tits-up” as they say, the Kickstarter books went missing, and by the time they were tracked down, the publication date had been and gone, we must stress this was in no way Rebellion’s fault, they have been, and continue to be golden on all fronts, this was simply a distribution mix up, these things happen.

So, you are asking: “how will my Kickstarter edition differ from the one I can buy now from Amazon?”, the answer to that is: significantly. Yours will be hand finished, with a different cover, it will be a signed and numbered edition with an exclusive book plate, it will be accompanied by a signed limited edition print of the mass market edition cover art (minus the text, so suitable for framing or Ebay), and we’ll throw in a few little surprises, oh, and some original artwork by Barreti.

!

Did you read that correctly? Has the Goldtiger super computer fallen over again? No! Every single one of you who pledged for a physical copy of the book will receive an original ink drawing by Barreti (in addition to any extras you pledged for, won in competitions or were rashly promised by us two years ago and the above mentioned goodies). When you consider the history, and the fact that no Barreti artwork ever reaches the market, and the fact that he is missing, presumed dead, then this really is something rather remarkable, but you deserve it, this is our special thank you, you are the best. If you continue reading, we have added a coda of sorts, almost an extra chapter from the book which details how this unexpected turn of events came about.

Before then, some housekeeping, quite rightly, a number of you have contacted us regarding delivery addresses and so forth, perfectly understandable given the delays and the time since the surveys went out. So, if your info remains as it was when you returned the survey, or the same as when you may have contacted us directly about this, you need do nothing except wait a week or two more for your books. However if you have changed your address, or need to have them sent to a new location, please advise us of that before April 1st. We will start mailing books out on that date (how apt!) using the most current information we have, and cannot take responsibility for your treasures going through some one else’s letterbox.

Digital only backers will be contacted directly, we will give you access codes and your digital copy of Goldtiger can be retrieved directly from Rebellion.

Once again, thank you all so much.

Peace, love and underthings.

J and G, somewhere in Europe 2016.

CODA

Some bright spark in the office at Goldtiger HQ had the brilliant idea to track down Barreti and get him to sign the limited edition print of the cover art. Cue more bright sparks as we tasked the Goldtiger super computer to locate his current whereabouts.

Initial results were promising, we inputted all of the known information about the great man into the interactive user interface (a slot for postcards no bigger than 4” x 6”), flicked the switch, and then waited. We made tea, brewed some beer and watched a box set or two (Jason King and the New Avengers if you must know), eventually a bell rang, the windows rattled and much loved house pets reverted to the wild (as did Miss Peabody, our long suffering secretary). The A3 punch card exited the computer and landed with a promising thud (the best kind of thud). Our delight was short lived, according to our increasingly erratic and eccentric computer, Barreti was either a practicing Necromancer with a four foot beard in Northampton or had happily been living as a woman in Eastbourne for forty years and answering to the name of Elsie, devoting much of her time to salt water kayaking and “All-In” wrestling.

Useless.

What to do?

Luca Biagini.

Only one man could save us now, he was our only hope, not a Jedi, but a defrocked Franciscan Monk, living the dream in the Abruzzo region of Italy near Pescara. Was Luca up to the task, could he succeed where our super computer had failed? In a word: Yes!

Our search lead us to a small, well kept villa in the foot hills of the Monte Amaro mountain, near Passo Lanciano. It was here, where a man (known locally as “Il maestro”) answered to the name of Antonio Barreti but who rarely answered his door. The fact we found him at all is a testament to the investigative prowess and tenacity of Luca Biagini, to say nothing of the persuasive power of Campari and smoked sausage.

Our joy was short lived, as our requests for an audience with the ‘maestro” fell on deaf ears, he flatly refused to speak with us, questions were raised about our parentage and impropriety of a biblical nature involving “beasts of the field” was crudely implied via a tear in a net curtain through a partially open window.

We did not give up. We are made of stronger stuff.

On day three he showed signs of weakening and stopped insulting our mothers.

On day four he accepted a gift of bread and a barrel of local wine. (it should be noted that the local wine is made of stronger stuff still).

Day five passed without incident.

On day six he began to trust us, and asked for more wine.

Day seven was a breakthrough, he agreed to meet the next day and threw only sixteen rocks in our direction, we were elated.

So, the next day a week into our expedition, we were finally in the company of the “maestro”. On that late Autumn day, sitting in a small kitchen, surrounded by olive groves and snow capped mountains something quite remarkable happened. This wiry, frail looking, blue eyed man, with weathered almost translucent skin and white hair created something akin to magic, art can be magic, it can be rare, it can be precious, and sometimes its worth can only be measured in wonder, and as the crisp mountain air whistled through that open window on that strange October afternoon we sat in wonder.

We sat with Barretti he chatted in Italian to Luca, and he bemoaned the printing and the design of the print in broken English to the rest of us. We sipped some wine, and over an hour or two he signed all of the prints.

Thinking our mission completed, and not wanting to take up any more of the maestro’s time, we thanked him profusely, bade him farewell and made for the door. No! He exclaimed, “do not go!” “There is more from Barreti!

What followed was nothing short of miraculous. He demanded paper and ink, we looked through cupboards, table draws, under the sink, everywhere. Eventually we found what he wanted.

Then he started drawing.

Tentatively at first, as if unsure of the materials, or perhaps himself, he started to make marks directly on the paper in ink with a brush. Almost abstract at first, random shapes, splats and scratches, but after a while recognisable features began to emerge. Jack, then Lilly, then other characters from Goldtiger. Characters he had brought life to over forty years ago, but characters who had not drawn breath for three decades or more.

His pace quickened, his hand more assured, more paper, more ink, more wine! He worked almost feverishly, not speaking, lost in a world of his own imaging or perhaps of his own making?

The room seemed to glow, the cool air became warmer and sweeter, the fading light lingered longer than expected, Barretti’s steel blue eyes took on a twinkle they did not have on our arrival. It was as if he was somehow channeling powers that no longer belonged to him, the vitality and vigour of youth, returning, if only for an hour or two.

At one point he drew Jack’s head too large for the paper, it was cut off above the chin, discarded with gusto, another drawing was started, it was a continuation of the last, the chin completed, his neck and collar defined, it too was discarded, another piece of paper, another piece of the jigsaw. Eventually we had ten sheets of paper, all separate and all drawn independently, to our amazement, when they were assembled, they completed a perfect figure of Jack in all his glory, from his glistening black hair to his glistening black boots, seemingly random and casual brush lines, marks and scratches, applied minutes (and as they were thrown across his kitchen, several feet apart) all came perfectly together to make a whole much greater than the sum of its parts. How could this be?

In awe, we quizzed the maestro, how did he do it? he made little of it, “the work is in the head” he claimed, “the truth is there”, “the hands merely pass on the message”, “the message is everything”. “You “fanboys” worry too much about the messenger”.

When we finally left that little villa with a stack of drawings and memories that will last a lifetime, a full moon was glowing like a gold medal, a medal to be awarded to Barretti? It kissed the top of the mountains, an honour he would never receive in this life, but maybe it awaited him beyond the stars.

Three months later, with advance print copies of the completed book we once again made the trek to the Amaro mountains, our intention to meet with Barreti and tell him of the renewed interest in his greatest creation.

To our dismay, the pretty little villa was deserted, almost derelict in fact, what could have happened in such a short time? The locals, who had once been so keen to help, remained tight lipped, refusing to speak. Only one old man spoke to us, “that villa has been empty for years” he said, a “crazy man lived there”, “took his own life, a mortal sin, the place is cursed, no one goes there, you should not go there”.

We took one last look at the villa the following day in the sharp January sun. We found an old photograph in the dirt, near to where his front door should have been, it is clearly Barreti in his younger days, it is reproduced below. As we walked away, at the boundary of the overgrown garden, Luca spotted a piece of wood, stuck into the ground, like a tombstone, or a marker. It bore a legend in Italian, which roughly translates as:

“Dwell not on the folly of the young, find glory instead in the promise of youth”.

The mystery of Goldtiger refuses to die, perhaps Barreti does too.

Fin

For now.

Barreti, somewhere in Italy
Barreti, somewhere in Italy